Three Sherman City Council candidates answered questions Oct. 18 at the Municipal Election Forum hosted by North Texas Young Professionals. District 2 candidates Commie Linson and Josh Stevenson participated alongside the at-large, Place 1 seat candidate, Ronald Rose. Rose’s opponent, Willie Steele, did not participate in the forum.

The following represents the fifth and final question asked of the candidates, and their responses.

If elected, what will be your top priority as a city council member?

Linson: “If elected, I would be a freshman council person. The first thing I would do is listen. Then, I want to learn. Then, I want to be brought up to date with all of the projects and plans the city is currently working on.

“The current 10 year master plan that has been adopted by previous councils is something I believe we should still continue to move forward with.

“I want to work with the mayor. I want to work with the current council and current city staff. So that we can proactively deal with the growth that Sherman is expecting and the growth that we know is coming.

“Sherman is on the move. We have to, as a city and as a council and as members, remember that our city wants to grow together. Every one of us wants to see within their neighborhoods, within their homes, within their parks, within their schools, for things to improve all together, as a city.

“My goal is for us to all come up together, for us all to be there together because I love this city. It means everything in the world to me. I’ve been here most of my life except when I went out to be in the military. And I’ve come back here and been here and raised my children here. I know that we can do it and I want to be a part of it.”

Stevenson: “My first priority will always be that the basic things the city is supposed to do, we do well. We do water well. We do sewers well. We do roads well. We do police and fire well. That will always be my first priority. That will always be my keystone. That’s where I will start at.

“But as far as new programs go, I was talking to a friend of mine who is a teacher and he enlightened me that if a child isn’t reading at grade level by age 8, they are four times more likely to drop out of school. If they drop out of school, they are 16 times more likely to end up in jail.

“All of our education comes down to one really pivotal keyhole. Is a child reading on grade level by age 8? That’s the third grade.

“If we can get every child in Sherman, Texas, reading on grade level by age 8, we can decrease the number we have to spend for jails and law enforcement. We will have more kids going to college and more kids being successful. Study after study shows this.

“We can change our community for the better and all you have to do is read to a child. So if elected, or in all honestly if not elected, I’m going to work with the Sherman Education Foundation, with SISD, with the city, with Goodwill, with the citizens, with anyone who will work with me to make sure that no child in Sherman doesn’t read because no one reads to them. That they don’t read because they don’t get the books they need.

“We’re going to take care of the kids in Sherman. We’re going to make sure every kid in Sherman is reading at grade level by age 8. We’re going to change this city and it won’t cost us a dime.”

Rose: “I have a 5 and a 6 year old. So, my goal would be to have a better school system in Sherman, to have more things for the youth in Sherman.

“But my priority is to do as I’m told. At the end of the day, I have to do what you guys want. So, whatever you guys want — I will do it if I can, if it’s within my means.”